SYLVAN LEARNING OF Johnston & Des Moines

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Meet our Johnston Tutoring Staff


Great Teachers Inspire

Our tutors and staff in Johnston & Des Moines consist of passionate educators who love inspiring children to succeed. Warm, caring and great at relating to kids, our tutors in Johnston know how to engage and motivate each child in a personal way—building confidence and smiles, as well as skills and better scores. We selectively choose tutors who know local curriculum and can link Sylvan lessons to what’s being taught in school. Get to know our tutors and staff in Johnston & Des Moines!

  • Katie Ruby, Center Director

    Katie Ruby

    Center Director

    As Center Director, Katie leads all scheduling and consultation duties for the Sylvan Learning Center of Johnston. Katie’s education in both business and hospitality has allowed her to travel to several corners of the world. Through this international experience she found a passion for helping children in their education while volunteering for several youth causes throughout her studies abroad. When Katie isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her enjoying outdoor activities and being with friends and family! 
  • Sherri Robberts, Director of Education

    Sherri Robberts

    Director of Education

    I am so excited to join the team of teachers, aides, and directors here at Sylvan as the Director of Education! A little bit about me: I am from Omaha, Ne originally, and have lived in the Des Moines metro for 7 years with my husband, Kyle and our two children, Sienna (11 years old) and Caleb (15 years old). My background is in teaching elementary and special needs children and I was able to build upon those skills when I provided ABA therapy for children with Autism. By bringing my passion for education and love of helping children succeed to Sylvan, I hope to support all of the families coming through these doors and celebrate along with you as your children reach their goals. 
  • Susi Griffin, Tutor

    Susi Griffin


    Susi Griffin retired from teaching. Graduating from Arizona State University, Summa Cum Laude, she was certified k-8 General Education and K-12 Special Education with endorsements in Secondary Reading, Secondary Math, and ELL. In 2010, she was named teacher of the year in Arizona , west division. She is very passionate about the Sylvan programs and has watched them produce successful students since 1998
  • Desirae Kellis, Admin

    Desirae Kellis


    Desi is an Administrative Assistant in Johnston, IA. She is studying Elementary Education at Grand View University. When she is not at Sylvan, she is either at school working towards her degree, or she is spending time with her friends and family. She loves working at Sylvan because the teachers and students are amazing and she is learning from each and every one of them everyday. 
  • Karen Baldon, Director of Community Outreach

    Karen Baldon

    Director of Community Outreach

    Karen oversees the Community Outreach Division of Sylvan Learning Centers of Iowa. This division covers the entire state of Iowa bringing Sylvan services to students K-12 in small group settings. The division contracts with schools and other nonprofits using local, state or federal funding.  Karen is a graduate of William Penn University and specializes in sales and marketing. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the motorsports world, including NASCAR, she joined the Sylvan team in August 2016. Karen also worked part-time for ADM, Knoxville and Twin Cedars school districts coaching middle school and high school sports for over 25 years. 
  • Nick Shearer, Tutor

    Nick Shearer


    Nick is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Business Analytics at the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business. He is also working his way through actuary exams. He got a BS in Mathematics and minored in Statistics at Iowa State University. While Nick has many tutoring talents, he finds the greatest joy in Mathematics and ACT prep. When Nick isn't at Sylvan, you'll find him at the dog park with his dog Mobi.
  • Maddie Slough, Tutor

    Maddie Slough


    Maddie is an Academic Interventionist at Des Moines Public Schools in Des Moines, IA with a gift for working with kids. While Maddie has many tutoring talents, she finds the greatest joy in elementary reading tutoring. She studied at Northwest Missouri State University where she earned a bachelors degree in Elementary Education with a reading endorsement and coaching minor. She also earned her masters degree in Health and Physical Education from Northwest Missouri State University. When Maddie isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her spending time with her husband, Cree, and cat Ed. She also enjoys baking, working out, golfing and going home to Kansas City to visit her mom, dad, and little cousin Jesse. 
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    This information is pulled from the Manage My Center Information section on slclink. Visit that section on slclink to update your center’s contact information.